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Vidago Palace

Vidago, Vila Real
Vidago, Vila Real
Rankings
  • AddressParque de Vidago, Apartado 16, 5425-307 Vidago, Portugal

Vidago Palace was originally built as a summer retreat for Carlos I but he passed away two years before its construction was completed. Days before it was due to open in October 1910, a coup d’état precipitated the Portuguese First Republic and forced King Manuel II (the son of Carlos I) into exile in England.

The regally appointed building became a hotel instead and so, a hundred years later – following a €50 million restoration program over four years by Unicer, the Portuguese bottling company that owns the property – the hotel reopened on 6 October 2010, its centenary.

The original par 32 course that Philip Mackenzie Ross laid out within the hotel’s estate in 1936 was remodeled by the Cameron Powell design company during the refit of the hotel. This classic old 9-holer was reduced to six holes then a dozen new fairways added to create a new 18-hole championship course.

All the upgraded greens were increased in size from an average of only 200 square metres to over 600 square metres and they, along with the new putting surfaces, were constructed to USGA standard. The architects also retained existing paths and pink granite retaining walls wherever possible.

Such are the spectacular panoramic views from the elevated tees at the par five 17th (“Eagles’s Nest”), where the fairway drops from the highest to the lowest point on the course, that this hole has been described by some as the most striking in Portuguese golf.

Chris Powell and Bob Cameron seem satisfied with the results of their work here and they have been quoted as saying, “as with our earlier Mackenzie Ross project at Furnas in the Azores, we like to think we have managed to avoid imposing alien design characteristics onto this naturally beautiful and classic golf landscape. We have strived to retain the integrity of the original design and to reflect its aesthetics, playability and spirit. We just hope everyone will agree that we have managed to capture and instil the feel of a classic golf course for the 21st century.”

Cameron Powell have built something of a reputation for breathing new life into old, fallow Mackenzie Ross golf courses. Make no mistake, Vidago Palace is a truly remarkable property and the newly remodeled course is the perfect golfing complement at this luxurious five-star resort.

Vidago Palace was originally built as a summer retreat for Carlos I but he passed away two years before its construction was completed. Days before it was due to open in October 1910, a coup d’état precipitated the Portuguese First Republic and forced King Manuel II (the son of Carlos I) into exile in England.

The regally appointed building became a hotel instead and so, a hundred years later – following a €50 million restoration program over four years by Unicer, the Portuguese bottling company that owns the property – the hotel reopened on 6 October 2010, its centenary.

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Course Architect

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Philip Mackenzie Ross

It’s said that as a boy Ross laid out a miniature course on land next to the family home at Hill House atop Gullane Hill, but, unlike his Golden Age peers, his design legacy as an adult remains unheralded.

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